Beam me up, Scotty, it’s NYE
THOUSANDS of partiers will need to be transported to and from the Townsville CBD and Thuringowa Riverway precinct tomorrow night.
Townsville Taxis, Sunbus and other transport companies will pull out all the stops in a bid to ensure a smooth night, but revellers have been urged to plan ahead and expect to wait.
Townsville Taxis general manager John Lobwein said up to 15,000 people would be transported by taxi between 6pm and 6am during New Year celebrations.
And waits — possibly up to two hours in some cases — and long queues were simply unavoidable, he said.
But Mr Lobwein said he wasn’t expecting this year’s celebrations to be as busy as last year, given it fell on a Sunday night.
‘‘People are much more organised when its a weekend because they have all day to get ready, he said.
Pre-ordering a taxi was a good idea, said Mr Lobwein. Those who didn’t pre-order should be ready to leave when they call the taxi so the driver didn’t have a frustrating wait outside.
And don’t expect the telephone operators to know how long your cab would take, Mr Lobwein said.
Mr Lobwein said people should not call the taxi company after midnight.
All revellers will be directed to the taxi rank on Flinders Street East, the Seaview and Jupiters Casino.
Security will be stepped up at the ranks, Mr Lobwein said. ‘‘We’ll have two supervisors at the Flinders Street East rank and a security guard, and two guys at the Seaview, he said.
‘‘Our goal is always to keep the wait in the queues down to 40 minutes. I don’t think it will be any worse than those busy weekends in December.’’
Those living in the extreme outlying areas of Townsville and Thuringowa should prebook and be prepared to leave as early as possible to avoid h o u r - l o n g d e l a y s , Mr Lobwein said.
Sunbus manager John Graham said the CBD and Riverway would be the focus of extra bus services on Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday morning.
Mr Graham said the additional bus services would be operate similarly to the extra services the company had put on this month to cope with the pre-Christmas crowds.
‘‘We are being a little more flexible this year, he said.
Mr Graham said for the first time a controller would be based on buses and would be able to direct the vehicles to the areas where there was the most demand.
‘‘It is certainly one of our bigger nights of the year, he said.
Buses will leave Stockland and travel into town every 15 minutes, dropping off outside the Cowboys Leagues Club in Stokes Street, on Flinders Street East and outside Jupiters Casino.
Pick up points will be on Flinders Street East in front of the old Ferry terminal and at Jupiters Casino.
Mr Graham said the normal Sunday bus service would service The Strand.
Services will run from K e l s o , C o n d o n a n d R a s m u s s e n a r e a s t o Riverway until 10pm and will kick off from Riverway to the suburbs at midnight.
Sunbus will also take Riverway revellers to Kirwan and into the CBD between midnight and 1pm.
A bus from the city to Upper Ross will cost $7, with most other bus services to cost $5. Acacia Limousines owner Lillian Doyle said plenty of people were opting to travel in style this New Year.
She said she expected the limousine service would be almost booked by tomorrow.
She said the passengers travelling via limo could be sure their vehicle would pick them up and drop them home when they ordered it.
Up to seven people can fit into a limousine, with revellers able to sit back with a glass of champagne (BYO) and let someone else worry about the driving.
WAYTO GO . . . Acacia Limousines’ Lillian Doyle with clients Michael, Mel and Paul Keslake